/ Food & Drink

British Sandwich Week: what’s your favourite sarnie?

It’s British Sandwich Week! Did you know we buy more than 3.5 billion sandwiches a year? And that doesn’t include the ones we make at home. Let’s settle the question once and for all: what’s the best sandwich?

Choosing your perfect sarnie can be a hassle, which is probably why many of us stick to the same choice once we’ve found our favourite. Decisions can be made harder considering many supermarkets offer meal deals, meaning you can have a sandwich, snack and drink for a set price – sometimes as little as £3.

Buying sandwiches while on-the-go can be convenient, but choices are often limited if you have any dietary requirements. Back in 2011, our very own Patrick Steen wrote a convo about his struggle to buy sandwiches without mayonnaise:

“There are more ‘no mayo’ signs on sandwiches. Some of the no-mayo options tend to have no anything else, such as smoked salmon sandwiches which tend to just have butter or cream cheese – where’s the salad?” – Patrick Steen, sandwich connoisseur.

How much have things changed? It’s hard to tell.

The art of the sandwich

What we do know is that sandwich making can be a serious business. In fact, Subway doesn’t even have sandwich makers in its stores, it has sandwich ‘artists’. There’s even an award ceremony for sandwich companies –The Sammies.

Warburtons recently conducted a survey to discover the nation’s most beloved filling, and the votes soon came rolling in. Topping the rankings was the classic cheese sarnie, with cheese and ham coming in second – my personal choice.

Bizarre butties

British people have got themselves a reputation online for making unusual flavoured sarnies – some Americans were amazed to hear that chip butties existed!

If you do have a soft-spot for an unusual sandwich filling, it can be hard to take any criticism. One of my favourite sandwiches to have is crayfish and lemon mayonnaise (sorry, Patrick) on white bread, and it’s amazing! But I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would disagree.

With so many options, what’s your favourite sarnie? Do you prefer to buy or make your own? Are you may-no, or yay-o?

What's your favourite sandwich filling?
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Cheese and ham (no mayo!) on brown bread for me. A reliable classic. WH Smith is my preference for a meal deal – always found their sandwiches to be more substantial than others.


Cheese and ham (with mayo). It’s definitely a good shout. With ready salted crisps and a juice, if we’re getting meal deals, ha!


If I had to pick from a major shop, M&S’s ‘New York Deli Pastrami’ is an easy winner for me – anything with pickles or sauerkraut (ideally both) gets a thumbs-up.

That said, I’m partial to a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich/bagel, and an Italian panino with salume and fresh mozzarella and basil leaves would be my ideal pick from an independent shop, or to make at home.

On the crucial question – I’m quite happy to have mayonnaise on my bread!


I often just make simple cheese + ham sandwiches with a little pickle and accompanied by a side salad, simply because without mayonnaise other ingredients might fall out. I presume that the purpose of mayonnaise in commercial sandwiches is to help prevent the filling falling out. I make sandwiches with home-made wholemeal bread, often containing lots of seeds. It takes so little effort to make a sandwich I wonder why so many people buy them.

No mayonnaise for me thank you.


Most people presumably buy them for lunch when they are working. Smoked salmon with cream cheese and just a touch of lime or lemon is one favourite, as is egg mayonaise with a little chive.

A big issue for me is the bread – brown and thin, preferably no crust, otherwise thick pappy white bread dominates.

Lucy says:
21 May 2018

Sandwiches are a nightmare if you don’t like butter! Shop-bought sandwiches are a no-go for me. Wraps are usually a safer option, but still I once bought a wrap from Tesco that turned out to be buttered… As for my favourite sandwich, you can’t beat a roast chicken club from Greggs. Yes it has plenty of mayo, but there’s no butter!


Completely agree, Lucy! I’m not a huge fan of butter (unless on crumpets) so that’s an added struggle. I’ve never had butter in a wrap so I tend to stick with them when buying lunch.


M&S used to make these lovely sandwiches, say around 30 years ago, with dates, grapes and cream cheese. I don’t why they stopped, they did seem to sell OK.

A *good* cucumber sandwich is difficult to beat, especially in the warm weather such as we’re having now (what a nice change, eh?).

I used to have this fairly often in baguette bread: chutney, bacon, brie and lettuce, yum.

Once in Paris I had the best merguez sandwich ever, in a delicious baguette, yum, from an unassuming cafe near the Gare du Nord.

Another time in Paris (Jardin des Plantes) it was tuna with salad, ie sweet corn, tomatoes and lettuce with a great dressing on delicious baguette again, yum, yum.